The following article is written by Pat Wetzel, Award Winning Author and Host of, Bump In the Road.
How does one move through experiences that shatter your beliefs and everything you know to be true? How does one not get lost in the disbelief and disconnect? And what strengths emerge on the other side of these experiences?
Cherie Aimée’s life took a turn she never expected when the 32-year-old branding consultant and author was diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma. Twelve rounds of chemo later she was declared cancer free. But that was only the start of the story.
Ten months after finishing treatment, she started experiencing shortness of breath. And a few weeks afterwards, she collapsed. Her heart had failed.
For ninety minutes doctors attempted to resuscitate her. A extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) machine took over the function of her heart and she was transported to New York Presbyterian Hospital where she was rushed into surgery. Despite her surgeon’s best efforts, her heart wouldn’t restart. An artificial heart pump was inserted and Cherie was placed into a medically induced coma for four months while doctors tried to figure out what to do.
Because transplant recipients are required to wait five years post cancer treatment to be eligible for a transplant, Cherie found herself living with an LVAD (left ventricular assist device), a battery operated pump that is used for patients in end-stage heart failure. It was terrifying. Alarm systems and the need to haul the heavy battery packs limited her mobility, and tested her mentally and emotionally . She would live tethered to this machine for the next five years.
“Living on the LVAD taught me how to live in the present moment and to be grateful for every second of life and every breath I take.”
Cherie had more to think about than just the LVAD. While she was being resuscitated, she had a near death experience. She found herself in this white space, formless, light as a feather. She refers to this as “the after realm”. It was the beginning of a powerful spiritual awakening that would change everything about the way she saw the world. Through this experience she realized that the way we are living is all wrong.
It took her over a decade to recover her health and to start making sense of her near death experience. Other people who have had a near death experience describe a similar path, where it takes many years before they are ready to talk about and share their own experiences.
Cherie now sees herself with a mission to share soul ascension and awakening with a wider audience.
"After my near death experience (NDE) my entire conditioned belief system, the framework, the architecture, and the structure of my conscious mind was blown wide open and shattered.” -Cherie Aimée
Part of Cherie’s journey has been a recognition of how important it is to become congruent with our authentic selves. “Soul ascension” she calls it and it’s her mission to help others find that authenticity.
It’s partly about navigating the difficult path of a perception shift. She says of her own experience:
“It’s the power of that perception shift, then there is the journey through that awakening. It’s not an easy journey.”
It took Cherie over a decade to integrate the combination of cancer, heart failure, five years on an LVAD machine, a heart transplant and her near death experience. “A million miracles had to happen for me to be here,” she says.
And with that perspective comes a mission to help people see beyond their societal conditioning and go within, to become aligned with their soul. It’s important because without that element of soulful connection, we are ultimately lost.
Looking at the world, she notes:
“If you take the time to actually observe humanity individually and as a collective, you notice that something’s off in a really big way.”
Living by someone else’s guidelines is hell on earth, she says. It’s a world that doesn’t make sense.
“It’s a form of trauma when you’re conditioned to be anyone other than who you are authentically.”
Clearing that trauma to come back to authenticity is not an easy path. But for the brave souls who are willing to explore the constructs of their world, there is truth, passion and ultimately, soul congruence.
“You’re always uncovering new things that shatter the conditionings of your former self. Some people refer to that as ‘death of the ego.’”
But as the ego dies, the soul thrives.
Written by Pat Wetzel, Award Winning Author and Host of, Bump In the Road. To listen to the audio interview visit here.
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